Three in four guide dogs report being illegally refused from public spaces

Figures revealed from the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) have shown that 76 per cent of people with guide dogs say they have been refused service.

More than three quarters of respondents from the survey reported they have been turned away from shops, restaurants and taxis.

BREACH OF RIGHTS

Being refused entry because of a guide dog is actually breaching the Equality Act 2010.

Figures revealed that private hire cars and minicabs were the worst offenders to refuse entry, with seven out of ten people (71 per cent) who visited restaurants also being turned away. 

The upsetting figures have encouraged a call for further understanding of the vital work guide dogs do for their owners and the visually impaired community. 

EQUALITY

Guide Dogs and RNIB are now working together to create an equalities toolkit informing guide dog owners of their legal rights. The toolkit is relevant for guide dog owners living in Scotland, England and Wales. 

Director of skills, information and support for Guide Dogs, Kirstie Bower said: “Often establishments, businesses and services don’t fully understand their obligations in law, but ignorance is not an excuse. 

“This discrimination has a devastating impact on people’s lives, their confidence, and their sense of belonging to society.”

With 72 per cent of guide dogs and assistance dog owners reporting being refused entry to an establishment affects them negatively in terms of their ability to go out socially, the time for improved awareness is now. 

You can request the new toolkit from your nearest Guide Dogs team, or call the RNIB on 0303 123 9999.

Have you experienced negativity because of your guide dog? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram